By the time country star Luke Bryan took the stage Friday night at Central City Park, thousands had been gathering for the Macon show for several hours.
Tim Schneider and Desiree Jeanes were among that crowd and arrived from Milledgeville for the concert, part of Bryan’s Farm Tour, before 1 p.m. The show was scheduled for 7 p.m.
“We’re expecting a good time,” Schneider said.
Jeanes said Friday marked her first concert. She had multiple reasons for wanting to see Bryan perform live. Bryan has had a string of hits including “This Is How We Roll,” “Roller Coaster” and “I Don’t Want This Night to End.”
“He sounds really good, and he’s good-looking,” she said.
Kim Eldridge of McDonough said that she and her husband, Bret, have seen Bryan in concert between 12 and 15 times in Atlanta and other locations across Georgia.
“He is my absolute favorite,” she said. “Favorite of all favorites in country music.”
Bret Eldridge originally went to the concerts just to be with his wife. Over time, he said, the music and the artist grew on him, and he thinks Bryan gets better with each performance.
“I think Luke seems like he’s very honest and down to earth, and a real guy,” he said. “That’s what makes me like him so much.”
A crowd of about 15,000 ended up filing through the gates as the sun went down over the park. Before Bryan, who has won multiple country music awards since releasing his first album in 2007, took the stage, the crowd heard performances by Chancie Neal, Chris Janson and Sam Hunt.
Janson is best known for his hit song “Buy Me a Boat,” while Hunt was recently named the Country Music Association’s New Artist of the Year.
The tour drew 20,000 people in Indiana last month, according to crew member Mike Devilbus of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. One constant, Devilbus said, is a strong presence of female fans.
“I think the ladies like him,” he said. “They want to see him dance.”
To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331 or find him on Twitter@MTJTimm.